Home / News / World /  How H1B grace period extension from 60 days to 180 days can help laid-off Indian techies? Explained

Amid massive layoff by tech companies, the US has recommended extending the grace period for H1-B workers who have lost their jobs from 60 days to 180 days. The move is likely to provide H1-B workers more time to find new job opportunities or alternative solutions to maintain their status in the United States.

“The immigration subcommittee recommends the Department of Homeland Security and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to extend the grace period for H1-B workers, who have lost their jobs, from 60 days to 180 days," Ajay Jain Bhutoria, member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, said on Tuesday. Here is look at why the change is policy is beneficial: 

Currently, H1-B visa holders have only 60 days after losing their job to either find a new job, have another employer file an H1-B petition on their behalf, or leave the United States. This tight timeline presents significant challenges, such as finding a new job in a challenging job market and completing the paperwork necessary for transferring H1-B status. Delays in processing at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can exacerbate these challenges, potentially leading to a loss of skilled labor for the United States.

Why this move is critical? 

The advisory sub-committee recognized the importance of retaining highly skilled tech employees, many of whom are from India. Hence, for the US, the recommendation is a critical step in supporting H1-B workers and ensuring they can continue to contribute to the country's economic growth without fear of losing their status. 

Highly skilled tech employees are in demand, and the current job market is challenging. However, tech companies typically conduct four to five rounds of interviews, which take several weeks before a candidate is offered a job. Even if an H1-B worker is able to find a new job within 60 days, the process of transferring their H1-B status can be time-consuming owing to paperworks involved.

Additionally, based on delays happening at USCIS, this process can take longer than 60 days to complete. This can result in the loss of skilled labour for the United States as these workers may not be able to return unless they get a new H1-B, which may take years.

Therefore, extending the grace period would provide these workers with more time to secure new job opportunities and support the United States' economic growth.


Sanchari Ghosh
Sanchari Ghosh is a Deputy Chief Content Producer with LiveMint. She covers news, human interest, epidemiology and personal finance stories
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